Volume 10, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


By the author's definition “early” is the Victorian era, closing with World War I “when the philosophies and optimistic dreams of that era, many of them manifestly unfounded, were shattered by Mars and Molch.” The story is extended beyond World War I mainly to complete the histories of certain outstanding persons and events which had their principal beginnings during or before the war.

Of eighteen chapters, the first is a sort of extended preface and philosophical introduction to the development of microbiology, and outlines the early concepts of the origin of life, the idea of , the controversy over the doctrine of spontaneous generation, and the work of Antony Van Leeuwenhoek and its impact on ideas of the cause of disease. Chapter 2 outlines briefly the embryology of the United States Marine Hospital Service and its expansion to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The description of the controversy over smallpox inoculation, starring Cotton Mather and Zabdiel Boylston, is colorful and circumstantial.


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